Mind is like a theater where all the drama happens 24×7. Whether you enjoy or become upset, it all happens up there. And thus, it becomes the most important part of our body and personality, writes Dr Shrirang Bakhle
What is it that determines whether a person will become a rock star or a shopkeeper or a saint or a terrorist? Is it the height or the size of the biceps or the skin texture? Obviously, it is the mind that decides what a person will become. The mind is clearly the most important aspect of any person’s personality.
Forget about achievements, what is it that determines whether a person will become happy or unhappy? It is not the colour of the eyes or the type of hair, but it is the mindset that leads to happiness or unhappiness. And, of course, the happiness, sadness, fear and anger are parts of the mind itself!
I was talking to Rajendra Singh, a senior HR manager of a large company. This person has interviewed thousands of people and recruited hundreds of them. He has followed up the careers of hundreds of people. His special topic of interest is predicting who will rise in a company and who get stuck – who will probably be fired! So I asked him what it is that determines this. Is it the type of education? His answer was a clear, “No”! He said that it is the mindset of the person that leads to achievement or non-achievement. So, when he recruits people, he doesn’t pay much attention to the qualifications, but to what is there in the minds of the people.
On the other hand, what is it that determines whether a person will become a terrorist who opens gunfire on a crowd or a person who dedicates his life to help the poorest? What is it that determines whether a person will develop mental disorder or not? The answer, again, is the mindset.
Suppose, you are a young man wanting to get married and you are looking for a bride. Will you choose a beautiful girl with a nasty mind or a plain looking girl with a loving mind? Beauty will give you happiness for some time. But when you are thinking in terms of years and decades of married life, the charm of beauty will wear out soon. But the beauty of the mind will continue to give happiness throughout the life.
Just think of what you yourself do all day? Right from the time you get to the time you fall asleep, what you are using continuously is the mind. Even if you are just relaxing with your eyes closed, you mind is still active – daydreaming of this and that and that and that! At that time, you are not moving any muscles (except, of course, the breathing muscles). You are not aware of your heart pumping or intestines digesting or bone marrow making blood. But you are very much aware of all the thoughts, wishes and emotions in your mind.
Your mind is the theatre where all this drama is happening 24×7! You learn about all the events in your world, you feel all the emotions, you make choices and control all the actions that you do. Whether you enjoy or become upset, it all happens in your mind. Thus, mind is the most important part of our body and personality.
All the intelligent, educated people like you and me know many things about the body: cholesterol and sugar, vitamins and calcium, bones and heart and liver and kidneys etc. etc. We all know that intestines digest food. We learnt about all this, way back in the early years of the school. But we did not learn about what the mind is made up of or how it works – in school. We did not learn how the different emotions are produced in response to different events in our lives in school curriculum. Unfortunately, we are not taught about all these most important aspects of our life in school. And yet these are the most important topics that govern our lives. And explaining that is the purpose of this series on Mind Matters.
One basic perspective about the mind is that it processes information. For example, our entire day and life is made up of small, small topics. The mind deals with each topic one after the other throughout the day. For example, consider the simple topic of ‘you noticing a speck of dirt on your shirt sleeve’. Your eyes send information about the dirt on the sleeve to the mind.
The mind immediately compares it with your ‘wish to remain clean’. Oops! This is against your wish. This leads to the production of emotion: you feel irritated. The next step is decision-making: you decide to remove that speck of dirt. And bang! Your mind has given order for action to your hand. Swish, swish, and the dirt is gone. Your ‘wish to remain clean’ is fulfilled. And you become happy again! This is how our mind processes each of the inputs that it receives.
But our mind receives so many inputs during the day and many of them simultaneously. So how does the mind manage all of them? That we will see in the next article.